Eco-fashion brand Rapanui has teamed up with the University of The Isle of Wight to weave optical fibres into a t-shirt that appears invisible.

It's based on technology captures light on one side of a garment and relays it to the opposite side.

“The research has been around for a long time but the principle is actually quite simple – to take light from the front of the garment and relay it to the back – and vice versa," explains Martin Drake-Knight, a designer at Rapanu. "Optic fibres are simply light conductive threads. They capture the light in the space immediately surrounding the garment and relay them through the threads. If you can direct this light directly out of the shirt, as we have done, the result is a vivid perception of invisibility.”

The University of The Isle of Wight assisted with the project and hope to develop variants of the fabric for a wide range of applications. However textiles specialist Professor Barry Green said it would be “quite some time” before the technology could come to market, adding that an early idea would be to make landfill sites invisible: “Sustainability is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind problem. We can throw invisible t-shirts in open-air landfill sites – or even just on the street - and nobody will know they are there.”

The video below shows the astounding technology in action.